Crucial SSDShort for Solid-State Drive or Solid-State Disk, SSD is a drive that uses non-volatile memory as a means of storing and accessing data, much like computer RAM. Unlike other storage devices such as hard drives, an SSD has no moving parts, which gives it advantages such as accessing stored information faster, produces no noise, often more reliable, and consume much less power than the traditional hard drive (HDD) found in computers. The picture shows a Crucial SSD and is an example of what an SSD looks like.

The first SSD was implemented in IBM supercomputers in the 1970s and 1980s. They have since been drastically improved upon and offer storage capacities of 128GB and 256GB for home computers. Unfortunately, because of the much greater cost per GB of storing information these drives have not yet become suitable solutions for replacing a standard computer's hard drive. However, are a great solution for netbooks, nettops, and other applications that don't require several hundred GB of space. These drives are also popular for computer enthusiasts who use the smaller SSD to run only Windows and some of their more popular programs and then have all their data files such as pictures and music files on a second larger traditional hard disk drive (HDD).

Tip: An SSD may also be referred to as a flash drive, which should not be confused with a USB jump drive or Adobe Flash.

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Also see: Hybrid hard drive, Solid State Device, Solid-state memory, Storage device